Before anyone gets too excited, this uniform is a reproduction. I’ve been wanting an actual AAGPBL uniform for years, but the reality of ever finding one is quite small. There was a very limited number of them made to begin with, and many of these are rightfully in museum collections. Still, a girl can hope.
I found this reproduction at the Goodwill Dig. I knew it was not the real deal, being made in China of a cheap poly/cotton mix. But it was too interesting to leave behind. I contacted the AAGPBL website, and the nice people there told me that a company licensed the design to make these as costumes. And a search on Instagram shows lots of women dressed in this Rockford Peaches costume.
I added the bias binding belt, as the photos show a dark red belt.
The AAGPBL became famous due to the movie, A League of Their Own. I’ve written about the league in the past:
Started in 1943 by Chicago Cubs owner Philip Wrigley in order to keep revenue flowing through Wrigley Field during the war [WWII], it was originally a softball league. The name was changed to baseball, and the rules were a mix of both games. Wrigley came up with the idea of the players wearing skirts with little bloomers beneath. He felt like skirts were more womanly.
He also mandated that the players could not wear slacks off the field, and they must always wear makeup and lipstick, and wear high heels when not playing. There were lots of rules, but the pay was good.
The league was started in 1943, and lasted until 1954. All the teams were in the Midwest, mainly in smaller cities, like Rockford, Illinois. Many of the cities that had teams now house uniforms and memorabilia in their municipal museums. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has a nice collection of that city’s team, and last year curator Andrea Melvin wrote a great research report on it for the Costume Society of America’s journal, Dress.
It’s not likely that one of these uniforms will turn up here in Western North Carolina, but then no one expected to find Vince Lombardi’s West Point sweater here either. A girl can hope.